Category Archives: Revolution Sports

Shetland Pony Grand National Returns to Olympia, The London International Horse Show

From 17-23 December 2018, Olympia, The London International Horse Show, will welcome the return of the much-loved Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National, a fast and furious race showcasing some of the UK’s young, talented, and up-and-coming jockeys.

This year’s line-up features some of the brightest young names in horse racing, including Olive Nicholls, daughter of 10-time British National Hunt Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls, who no doubt will be giving Olive a tip or two in her preparations for Olympia. Nicholls will compete against Alice Crowley, daughter of 2016 British Flat Racing Champion Jockey, Jim Crowley. The pair has the equestrian genes to contend, but how will they fare in Olympia’s Grand Hall?

Entrants are required to be aged 8-14 and must be under five feet tall. Riders race around a track, jumping obstacles mimicking those at the Aintree Grand National, only in miniature form. The event is the pinnacle of the Shetland Pony Grand National calendar and is set to attract hordes of spectators from the 90,000 attendees, who are due to visit Olympia over its seven days of competition.

Although undoubtedly a fun-filled event, there is also a real spirit of competitiveness among the riders. Many of them are aiming to emulate past competitors, who have graduated from the Shetland Pony Grand National to become professional equestrians, including Sam Twiston-Davies and Tom Garner, who are now established names on the racing circuit.

Following in the footsteps of the Twiston-Davies brothers, Gloucestershire has another Shetland Pony Grand National competitor tipped for the top: nine-year-old Lucas Murphy, whose father, Timmy Murphy, has ridden over 1,000 winners in the professional jump racing world. Joining Murphy and his pony Shelcroft Buttercup will be Lucy Aspell, daughter of back-to-back Grand National winner, Leighton Aspell. Aspell will be returning for her second successive year at Olympia and is likely to pull out all the stops to go the distance.

All proceeds from the Shetland Pony Grand National will go to the nominated charity, The Bob Champion Cancer Trust. Founded in 1983, the charity has raised an incredible £16 million for cancer research and will be the direct beneficiary of the money raised by the young jockeys, who last year managed to raise a terrific £42,500.

For more information on how to purchase tickets, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0844 995 0995.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford gtelford@revolutionworld.com +44(0)7717 776928

FEI World Equestrian Games Medallists Celebrate Achievements in Olympia Parade

Photo: © BEF / Jon Stroud Media.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show will welcome Team GBR’s medallists from the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) Tryon 2018 to the annual event to take part in a celebratory parade on the evening of Thursday 20 December 2018.

The parade marks the success of British athletes, who won eight medals this summer, giving spectators the opportunity to show their appreciation for these top riders, owners and Chefs d’Équipe, after their successful campaign at the WEG.

Reigning Olympic champion, Charlotte Dujardin CBE, will be a central figure in the parade after she and her nine-year-old mare won individual bronze in the Dressage Grand Prix Special competition, with a personal best score of 81.48%. Dujardin, who also clinched team bronze in the Dressage Grand Prix on the first day of the dressage competition, will be joined by fellow bronze medallists and teammates, Carl Hester MBE, Spencer Wilton, and Emile Faurie.

Olympia will also celebrate the achievements of Gemma Tattersall, Piggy French, Tom McEwen, and Ros Canter who, after a commendable year, took prime podium position in the Eventing at the WEG. Not only helping the team to post the lowest score in world championship history, Ros Canter held her own to take individual gold, making it a double sweep for the record-breaking Brits.

Adding to the line-up will be Natasha Baker MBE, who stormed the Dressage arena to take a silver medal in the Grade III Para-Dressage Individual Championship. Baker’s win came aboard Mount St. John Diva, adding to Mount St. John Equestrian’s medal haul, the breeder of Dujardin’s ride, Mount St. John Freestyle. Baker will be joined by Nottinghamshire’s Sophie Wells MBE, whose world championship got off to a golden start by taking top honours in the Grade V Individual test. She topped off a successful Games by winning her second gold medal, this time in the Grade V Individual Freestyle. Baker and Wells will be accompanied by Sir Lee Pearson and WEG debutant, Erin Orford, who, together, won silver in the Para Dressage team competition.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “It is an honour to be welcoming the leading British equestrian teams to this year’s Olympia. The parade hails the fantastic achievements of Team GBR and the exceptional group of riders.”

The WEG athletes will be accompanied by the successful British Youth teams, as this next generation of riders join the Thursday evening parade to celebrate their own medal achievements of 2018. One athlete who will take part is Jack Whitaker, son of Show Jumping legend Michael; Jack won individual Show Jumping silver at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina this September.

Taking place from 17-23 December, Olympia will provide the platform for top international equestrian competition, with many of the World’s elite riders expected to compete at the Show. Highlights include three FEI World Cup™ competitions in Show Jumping, Dressage, and Carriage Driving, not to mention international displays from La Garde Républicaine, and ‘Land of Fire’ Azerbaijan, bringing their traditional Karabakh horses to the Grand Hall.

For more information on how to purchase tickets, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0844 995 0995.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford gtelford@revolutionworld.com +44(0)7717 776928

Charlotte Dujardin and ‘Mrs Valegro’ to Reveal New Freestyle Routine at Olympia

Returning for another year of top equestrian action, Olympia, The London International Horse Show will be hosting the world’s best riders in London, from the 17-23 December.

Bringing a ‘first ever’ to Olympia, Charlotte Dujardin CBE and her protégée, Mount St John Freestyle, dubbed ‘Mrs Valegro,’ will be performing their never seen before Freestyle test when they compete in the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Freestyle to Music supported by Horse & Hound on Tuesday 18 December.

The former world number one and winner of three Olympic gold medals will be taking centre stage in the Grand Hall. All eyes will be on the new duo as Dujardin returns to the FEI World Cup™ Dressage at Olympia for the first time since 2015 when she won the Grand Prix and Freestyle aboard Utopia. This followed a golden year when she set the world record for the highest score ever achieved in a Freestyle competition with Valegro. This year, Dujardin will be putting her 2020 Olympic gold medal hopeful – a nine-year-old Hanoverian mare, owned by Mount St John Stud – through her paces.

Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle were due to showcase their routine at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 in September; however, the Freestyle competition was cancelled due to torrential rain. Despite this, the partnership returned home with two bronze medals from the Games, a huge achievement, particularly as Mount St John Freestyle was one of the youngest horses in the competition. The stunning mare, who achieved an unbelievable debut score of 81% in her first Grand Prix, has not scored less than 74% at any level in the last three years, setting the scene for excellent competition at Olympia.

Charlotte Dujardin CBE said: “I am thrilled to be bringing Freestyle back to Olympia! Last year we presented our Masterclass at the Show; it was incredible demonstrating to the audience what she is capable of and giving them insight into one of the next generation Grand Prix horses, showing them why I am so excited by her. It will be fantastic returning to the Grand Hall and showcasing our new Freestyle routine for the first time. It’s going to be very exciting!”

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, commented: “We are delighted to be welcoming Charlotte and Freestyle back to Olympia, and looking forward to seeing their Freestyle test. The pair was so well received last year, spectators will be in high anticipation at their return to the Show.”

Dressage at Olympia 2018 will be piloting a new, exciting format, which aims to make the FEI Dressage World Cup™ more appealing to a wider audience. The main change is a shorter Grand Prix technical test of five minutes which will allow time for rider interviews and audience interaction giving the crowd an opportunity to gain a greater insight to the skills of the dressage riders.

Tickets are still available to see Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle in action on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 December. For more information on how to purchase tickets, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0844 995 0995.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford gtelford@revolutionworld.com +44(0)7717 776928

‘Land of Fire’ Azerbaijan Announced as Display Act for Olympia

‘Organisers of the UK’s largest indoor show, Olympia, The London International Horse Show, are delighted to announce that Karabakh riders from Azerbaijan will perform their display, ‘Land of Fire,’ at the ever-popular equestrian event, taking place from 17-23 December 2018. ‘Land of Fire’ was created by the Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation to showcase the unique abilities of the country’s native Karabakh horse. The display was first performed in front of HM The Queen at the BAFTA award-winning Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations, where it captured the imagination and hearts of the audience.

At Olympia, ticket holders can expect fast-paced movements and artistry as the horse and rider combinations display their exceptional bond. This year’s act will not only incorporate action-packed riding but is also set to include an exhilarating acrobatic, Cossack style element, exclusively put together for Olympia 2018.  A unique dance ensemble the ‘Sarhadchi’ will be intertwined, performing traditional dances alongside the talented horses.

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, commented: “We are thrilled to have ‘Land of Fire’ Azerbaijan on board for Olympia this December. Their performance will be adding something really special to the line-up with a few added twists for spectators to look out for.”

The other international act to take the stage at Olympia Horse Show will be La Garde Républicaine and its famous cavalry regiment, one of the most talked about branches of the French Gendarmerie. La Garde Républicaine will be showcasing their renowned ‘Reprise des Douzes,’ meaning ‘the resumption of twelve,’ a spectacular ensemble of twelve chestnut horses performing to music.

Further to the stellar line-up of displays, the UK’s leading Show will once again host the world’s leading riders across a range of international competitions, including three FEI World Cup™ competitions in Dressage, Show Jumping, and Carriage Driving. Crowds can also expect to catch Olympia classics such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National, the Kennel Club Dog Agility, and the Christmas Finale supported by The Hilton London Olympia.

For more information on how to purchase tickets, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0844 995 0995.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford gtelford@revolutionworld.com +44(0)7717 776928

Sameh El Dahan Riding Suma’s Zorro Wins CP ‘International’ at Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’

09 September 2018, Spruce Meadows, Canada – The CP ‘International’ presented by Rolex has been won by Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’. Second place went to Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) riding Verdi TN and Beezie Madden (USA) riding Coach came in third.

An overcast day with cooler temperatures than the preceding week welcomed over 71,000 fans to the hallowed Spruce Meadows venue for the third equestrian Major of the year. Widely regarded as one of the toughest Grands Prix on the show jumping calendar, course designer Leopoldo Palacios did not disappoint and built it to capacity, to test the world’s best on this famous stage. Towering fences, tough combinations and technically exacting lines were created for the 42nd edition of this Grand Prix.

Prior to the start of the class, Palacios affirmed, “The course is challenging and tough – it’s for the biggest prize in the world. I’ve built two Olympics and [the course for] this class is tougher than the finals there.”

With the CP ‘International’ defending champion, Philipp Weishaupt (GER), the current Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender, Marcus Ehning (GER) and Rolex Testimonees Eric Lamaze, Kent Farrington and Steve Guerdat (world number five, eight, and nine, respectively), the competition was set to be an exhilarating one. All eyes would be focused on Ehning to see if he could continue his Rolex Grand Slam journey.

From the very start of this two-round class (and a jump-off if scores permit), the course lived up to expectations. With one clear from the first 20 riders, the crowd was witness to a multitude of falling poles and time faults, as Palacios tested the horse and rider combinations to their very limit.

Last year’s winner, Weishaupt, was unable to repeat his 2017 performance with two rails down, taking him out of contention and halting further progress in the class. Rolex Testimonee Steve Guerdat (SUI) displayed courage, determination and precision as he expertly guided Hannah over the 17 jumping efforts, confirming his place in the second round. Joining Guerdat was Canada’s much-loved Eric Lamaze aboard the incomparable Fine Lady 5, who once again highlighted why he is a force to be reckoned with in the sport of show jumping.

Former world number one and Rolex Testimonee, Kent Farrington (USA), chose to retire his mount Creedance after an uncharacteristic 12 faults. Similarly, it was not to be for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender, Ehning, as he retired Cornado NRW. After a dramatic first round there were seven clears, and a total of 12 riders progressing through to the second stage of this enthralling competition.

The morning clouds cleared and sun welcomed the start of the second round. A revised course of 15 jumping efforts was presented to the riders, with an imposing triple on the final line, to be completed within the time allowed of 67 seconds. Nicola Philippaerts (BEL), who picked up four faults in the first round, led the way and set the bar high, with a faultless round.

Maikel van der Vleuten riding Verdi TN produced the first double clear of the day, putting even more pressure on the remaining first round clear riders. Rolex Testimonee Steve Guerdat was unable to contend with van der Vleuten and left the International Ring with nine faults. Sameh El Dahan also rose to the occasion, ensuring the enthralled crowds would be treated to a jump-off.

Lamaze rode out to a stampede of applause, as the patriotic home crowd willed for another clear. Fans rode every stride and every fence with the famous pairing; however, Fine Lady 5 was unable to leave the last two jumping efforts standing.

Two riders awaited their chance to enter the International Ring for the third and final time to tackle the jump-off. First to go was van der Vleuten, who impressively navigated the imposing arena leaving all the fences standing and crossing the finish line in a time of 42.98 seconds. The closing rider of the day, El Dahan, kept the crowd on the edge of their seats as he cut marginally tighter corners and sped around the course, jumping the last fence and crossing the finish line in a time of 42.21 seconds, beating van der Vleuten in the narrowest of margins and being crowned the new live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

Speaking after his win, El Dahan said, “This is one of the biggest achievements of my career. The feeling is indescribable. I need a few days to make sure everything sinks in and believe that it actually happened. Going forward, the four Majors which make up the Rolex Grand Slam will be at the top of my list to compete at.”

The next leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping continues in December at CHI Geneva and the show jumping world will be focused on El Dahan to see if he can continue his journey.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0) 22 302 2619

Merrick Haydon
rEvolution
mhaydon@revolutionworld.com
+44 (0) 7748 186 833

HM The Queen’s Champion Horse, Barbers Shop, Arrives at Windsor Castle

Photo: Peter Nixon / Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Her Majesty The Queen’s homebred Champion, Barbers Shop, arrived at Windsor Castle ahead of his retirement at CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show which celebrates its 75th year this week. The Show runs from 9-13 May, with a special retirement ceremony for Barbers Shop taking place on the afternoon of Sunday 13 May.

Tickets for Royal Windsor Horse Show are still available and can be purchased online at www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk +44(0)7717 776928

Celebrating 75 Years of CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show

To celebrate the landmark 75th CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show, organisers have created a copyright free film: ‘Royal Windsor Horse Show through the ages’. Set up in 1943 to support ‘Wings for Victory’, a war time campaign to raise money to purchase Hurricanes and Spitfires for the Royal Air Force, the Show has grown to become an internationally recognised 5* equestrian event. Her Majesty The Queen has attended every year since its creation, with many of the world’s best riders taking to the private grounds of Windsor Castle to compete at the renowned event.

Royal Windsor Horse Show will take place from 9-13 May 2018; to find out more, visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

To view the film, click here.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk +44(0)7717 776928

Highlights News Film from the Rolex Grand Prix at the Dutch Masters

12 March 2018, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands – The Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters is one of the four equestrian Majors that form the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, and is one of the most prestigious Grand Prix on the international circuit.

Re-live the excitement from the four-day competition at one of the world’s leading indoor venues, as the finest riders compete for the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rolex SA
Virginie Chevailler
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0)22 302 2619

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Merrick Haydon
merrick@revolutionsports.co.uk
+44 (0)7748 186 833

Kent Farrington Closes the Year Winning the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva

The Rolex Grand Prix at the CHI Geneva, regarded as the most esteemed indoor Grand Prix on the global equestrian circuit, was won by Rolex Testimonee and World Number One Kent Farrington aboard Gazelle. Sweden’s Henrik Von Eckermann was second aboard Mary Lou 194 and Gregory Wathelet from Belgium riding Coree placed third.

Some 10,000 equestrian fans walked into the iconic Palexpo venue, brimming with excitement and tension as they waited for the famed curtains to open, marking the start of the most anticipated class of the four-day show, the Rolex Grand Prix.

40 horse and rider combinations had qualified to enter the iconic indoor arena at the CHI Geneva and in doing so, tackle an imposing first round course (and subsequent jump-off) designed by renowned international show jumping course designers, Gérard Lachat and Louis Konickx.

Clear rounds were hard to come by and the current Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender, Philipp Weishaupt, was unable to continue his journey in attempting to lift the most coveted trophy in the sport, as he collected nine faults in round one.

From the first 25 riders who braved the course, including Rolex Testimonees Jeroen Dubbeldam, Eric Lamaze, Bertram Allen and Steve Guerdat, none could master a clear round. It became evident that it would take an exacting and precise round to finish with a score of zero. Last year’s winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva, Pedro Veniss from Brazil, produced the first seemingly clear round, until the clock stopped just over the allocated time and he collected one unlucky time fault.

A clean score was finally achieved by The Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders, shortly followed by Henrik Von Eckermann and Gregory Wathelet. The crowd hushed to near silence as USA’s Kent Farrington entered into the arena, shortly displaying why he is the very best rider in the sport right now, producing a foot perfect round over the 13 obstacles. Cian O’Connor from Ireland completed the list of five riders progressing through to the second-round jump-off of the final Major of the year.

A revised course was presented to these elite athletes, reducing the course to eight obstacles. Harrie Smolders was first to go, setting the bar high with a clear round in just 46.89 seconds. This was fractionally beaten by Von Eckermann, who sped through the finishing gate with a time of 45.59. Wathelet was unable to challenge this, leaving it to Farrington and O’Connor. In true Farrington style, he sped through the course on the tightest of turns as the Geneva crowd sat on the edges of their seats, erupting in a cacophony of noise as the clock was stopped on 44.96 seconds, taking the World Number One into the lead. Cian O’Connor was last to go but despite giving everything, his brave grey horse Fibonacci just clipped one pole at the fourth fence, handing the victory to Rolex Testimonee, Kent Farrington.

After eight months as World Number One, Farrington concluded an emphatic year as the World Number One and now embarks on his very own Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping journey.

Commenting after his victory, Farrington said, “I’m still in shock and I can’t believe that it’s over and that we walk away with a win. I thought my horse was great today and with this win being part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, I will definitely be heading to The Dutch Masters in 2018.

“The riders are so strong here and you have the best horses in the world. With a large arena it can be difficult to set an indoor style course and in today’s sport, with as well as everyone rides, they have to make the time short. I knew it was going to be tough when I saw the course and I am so pleased with the result.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rolex SA
Virginie Chevailler
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0)22 302 2619

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Merrick Haydon
merrick@revolutionsports.co.uk
+44 (0)7748 186 833

Kevin Staut Crowned Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final Champion at CHI Geneva

The current top 10 riders in the world gathered at the iconic CHI Geneva, Switzerland to contend for one of the most exciting classes of the year, the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. The roster of elite show jumpers who had qualified to tackle Gérard Lachat’s technically challenging and imposing course included five of Rolex’s Equestrian Testimonees: Steve Guerdat, Scott Brash, Eric Lamaze, Kevin Staut and current World Number One, Kent Farrington.

Staged over two rounds, home favourite and Swiss hero Steve Guerdat was first to go aboard his brilliant mare Hannah. The patriotic crowd was electric as he rode into the arena and despite willing the combination over every fence, the pair collected four faults.

The first clear round came from the only rider currently to have won the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, Great Britain’s Scott Brash. Ursula XII and Brash glided around the first round, setting the bar high for the remaining seven riders. Despite nearly foot perfect rounds from the 2016 reigning champion, Eric Lamaze, and 2015 champion Kent Farrington, they both finished the 12-fence course with four faults, respectively.

For the eighth time in his career, Kevin Staut had qualified for the Top 10 Final and this experience shone through as he delivered the last clear of round one.

The second round welcomed four riders with a clean sheet, Lorenzo De Luca, Harrie Smolders, Scott Brash and Kevin Staut. Rolex Testimonee Eric Lamaze produced the fastest second round of the night, with a time of 40.27 moving him up the leaderboard.

Brash continued to impress and put pressure on his competitors, executing a faultless round with a time of 42.83, putting the passionate crowd on the edge of their seats as they waited for the last three riders of the class to challenge the British rider. It was not to be for Smolders as he attempted too tight a turn and paid the price with four faults. The stage was set for Kevin Staut and Lorenzo De Luca, who was competing in this competition for the very first time and the class’s first Italian representative.

ROLEX ONE-TWO PODIUM FINISH

Staut cut every corner in order to achieve his dramatic clear round, stopping the clock at 40.90 seconds, taking him into the lead. After a valiant effort De Luca was unable to beat the exacting precision of the French rider and world number three, as he exited the arena with four faults. The final result saw Rolex Testimonees, Kevin Staut and Scott Brash, secure first and second place on the podium.

A thrilled Staut commented on his victory: “I am really really happy as not only have I won the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final but I have qualified for the Rolex Grand Prix tomorrow also. It’s been eight years that I’ve been fighting to get a good result and I’m thrilled I’ve now achieved it, especially here in Geneva which is such an incredible show.”

Second placed Brash: “I don’t think I could have done any more. Ursula has a huge stride but is a slow mover. Kevin’s turns were much smoother than mine and Kevin was too fast for us today.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rolex SA
Virginie Chevailler
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0)22 302 2619

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Merrick Haydon
merrick@revolutionsports.co.uk
+44 (0)7748 186 833